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11-26-2002 05:40 AM
Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

just to clarify: our broker did not actually go with us to look at boats. She was in Maine, here.... We did all the travelling to see boats on our own. But to reiterate, she was INVALUABLE in actually purchasing the boat, as well as in giving much advice about specific boats we were interested in. I can''t say enough good things about her. (And, for what its worth, we''re essentially do-it-yourselfers..we sold our last boat on our own, and we''ll sell our house on our own. but, especially since it''s free to you, i don''t see any reason NOT to find a great broker to dp the transaction for you.) If you''re interested, our broker was Annie Gray at Gray & Gray in Maine. Email me off-list if you''d like contact info.
good luck!
11-23-2002 06:48 AM
Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

I think the best way to use a broker is to ask him or her the website URLs for boat trader or yachtworld.
My experiences with brokers definitly were not the high points of my life.
The first was only able to show me his listings, one of which was a 41'' Island Trader with the wooden trunk completely rotted. With a wink he told me we could probably get it for 25-30k! With no mast, boom, rigging, and an engine that was mostly rust. The boat had a "renter" living on it and the toilet was broke! What a deal!
Another sold me a 35'' Chris Craft that didn''t have half the gear listed on the spec sheet. Turns out it was the spec sheet from the boats last sale, 2 years before, and the seller had stipped a bunch of gear for his new boat.
I didn''t care too much because I got the boat for about 60% asking price. But I can see where a slip like that could ruin a sale.
I used the same broker to sell the boat, and guess what? He used the same spec sheet AGAIN! And bumped our asking price from 29k to 39k without our knowledge.
When I saw that in his website ad, I got in touch and had him change it to what I wanted it to say and the boat sold in a week.
I''ve had brokers laugh at my offers. That was insulting to me and really none of the brokers business, he or she is simply there to relay an offer, and the following negotiations.
I''ve had brokers not present my offers. It doesn''t hurt the broker to leave your boat on his books, waiting for a better offer.
Anyone in that business that has the opinion that the asking price is the selling price should find work in retail sales.
Do your own shopping. Look for boats that have been on the market a while. I ask around marinas about boats that have set for a long time in the storage yard. Make a almost insulting offer. Chances are anyone paying insurance and yard fees for a boat they haven''t seen in years is ready to get rid of it.
Then get a reputable surveyor. A broker is not going to protect you from a bad boat. He works by commision, and the big difference between a broker and a used car salesman is the broker has a better view from his/her office.
11-19-2002 03:44 AM
Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

I think using a broker is most helpful, provided you are well prepared yourself. I spent a good deal of time researching boats, asking questions etc until I got close to knowing what I wanted. I think searched listings online and CALLED the listing brokerage to view the boat. When I got to the boat, I would talk with the broker showing me the boat and that conversation served as an interview. Through that process, I found a honest, knowledgable broker with whom I ultimately worked with very happily and successfully.

Hope this helps.
11-18-2002 01:45 PM
Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

The first thing to remember is that a broker works for the seller not the buyer. Most I have come across don''t work at showing boats, just getting paid after you convince them you want to buy. I have had some worst experience with brokers than the stories you tell. I once drove 7 hours one way to look at a boat only to find the broker sent a friend to show the boat. The friend did not know the first thing about the boat and the trip was a waste of time(just to tell one story). With the age of the internet I have bought and sold boats with much better luck dealing with private listings.
Good Luck
11-18-2002 05:56 AM
Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

Glad to hear it''s not just me, I was beginning to think otherwise. However, I did just have another broker experience. Twice over the last six weeks I had responded to a specific listing on Yachtworld through the listing broker. I never received a response. Could be they didn''t get them, I suppose. Last week I was on one of the Sailnet email lists corresponding with an owner of the make and model I had been looking for. Turns out it was her boat ad and broker that I had been trying to pursue all along. I informed her that her broker was dropping the ball.
For what it''s worth, I have narrowed my search down to two boats base upon my wants and needs. They''re not uncommon by any means, but there aren''t 10 of them for sale in any one place, either. None of them are near me. Either I have to fly a broker all over the eastern US to look at them, or I need to work with a broker in every port. My approach has been to weed them out based upon discussions with sellers broker regarding electronic and rigging age/upgrade history, or location. Then I try to fly or drive to look them over myself. I travel frequently through work, and have been able to economically schedule side trips to view boats. I haven''t been interested enough in one yet to hire a survey.
Having said all that, I think I will once again try to find a broker, starting with some of the references I received in this thread. Otherwise, it''s just pick a name out of a directory. Can''t hurt I suppose. Maybe they can help weed out some and identify the ones that meet my fit/finish expectations.
11-18-2002 05:11 AM
Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

I hear ya my Brudda. I''ve yet to have a good experience with a broker. Many bad experiences. Whether they don''t actually give my offers to the owners, which were never unreasonable, or openly lying about the boat in question, I gave up on them and now go alone when buying boats.
11-18-2002 04:44 AM
Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

I had a very good experience with a broker in annapolis,Todd Duff from martin bird made three trips up a he was more than helpful
11-17-2002 11:54 AM
Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2. has a great list of boats for sale. There is even a broker listing.
11-17-2002 08:41 AM
Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

Having just purchased a boat through a broker I can say that he made the difference in making the deal.
Brokers are looking to sell boats and in the early stages of our search we were in the "let''s see what is out there" stage and brokers, being human, showed less interest in us. We were upfront about this when looking. Towards the end we knew more what we were looking for and the broker was able to keep the deal together through some bumps of survey etc.
About doing it yourself. First, most boats are offered only through a broker and my experience is that boats for sale by owner are that way because the owner may be too cheap to pay a commission - not a position I had any success negotiating with...
If I were doing it again I would buy a moisture meter - would have saved a survey or two - really good brokers have used them on the boats before they take them on - but this is rare - especially in our price range. However meters do take some knowing how to use them . final point after going to the $ and trouble to get a survey be willing to let it all go if you are headed down a path you are not happy with. I had to do that twice and have no regrets.
11-17-2002 01:50 AM
Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

Like others I have a good broker working for me.
Annapolis has millions of boats, Most are not for sale. It would take forever to sift through the marinas and creeks to find the ones that are. Using a broker just makes sense. Marty Ward, with Interyacht, has taken the time to learn what it is that I want, my budget constraints, and so on. She is a sailor herself, and knows boats inside and out. We drove half an hour to one boat. It was not right, and off we went, no loss. Each time I come down she has a list, of maybe three or four boats for me to see. That is enough, and takes a full day. Its her job to sift through the bad deals, and bad boats. A broker''s experieance can save you a lot of leg work, and can match boat and buyer. Start with a broker, then look for a boat. If you find a boat, then find a surveyor you can work with. That might be more important then the broker! In hindsight it was good to focus on Annapolis, because there are so many boats. Marty was the third broker I worked with over the last three years, but we clicked and that is the key. Boats are like cars, if your neighbor has one for sale you can check it out, otherwise its not a bad idea to go to one of the sailing centers around the country, either East of West, and the great lakes. With great numbers of boats, they become more of a commodity and the prices can be better. Good luck in your search, hope to see you on the high seas this winter!
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